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Commanding a computer, smartphone or tablet via a touchscreen or touchpad by using more than one finger. A multitouch display is sensitive to gestures, which are predefined motions that perform an action such as rotating an object.

Apple popularized multitouch in its iPhone and iPod touch, especially for zooming in and out of screen images, known as "pinch-to-zoom." Expanding a photo by sliding thumb and forefinger apart and pinching them together to restore the original size was greeted with delight when people first saw that feature.

Sensing Deflected Light
Most multitouch devices use capacitive screens that depend on a user's finger to draw current (see touchscreen). However, Microsoft's tablet top computer (see image below) and the large wall-mounted screens seen on TV use deflected light. For example, the CNN "Magic Wall" election map that enables journalists to track American political candidates state by state is a multitouch panel from Perceptive Pixel. These displays project images onto acrylic screens along with near-infrared or infrared light from one or more LED light sources. When fingers touch the screen, the light is deflected, and sensors pick up the changes. See touch scroll, Magic Mouse and gesture recognition.

An Electronic Light Table
Introduced in 2008, Microsoft's multitouch Surface computer let people manipulate objects more like the real world. In this light table example, photos are moved around as if they were printed on paper, but can also be resized. See PixelSense. (Image courtesy of Microsoft Corporation.)
References in periodicals archive ?
Stantum's technology can be used by all mobile electronic devices with resistive multi-touch sensors - from PDAs and smartphones to MP3 players - and runs on the leading operating systems and semiconductor platforms, enabling implementation in standard environments.
An optional lower cost version of the 24" display is available for applications that do not require sunlight readability and that do not require the Multi-Touch technology.
OEMs, distributors and integrators eager to bring the excitement, flexibility and value of a multi-touch solution to their customers now have a new weapon at their disposal - the Touch Revolution 15.
30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Omnivision Studios BV, well known for its success in multi-touch software, announced the launch of Omnitapps Business Multi-Touch Suite 3.
com), a pioneer developer of multi-touch sensing technology, announced a multi-touch framework with such advanced features as gesture recognition, context-dependent cursor management, and a virtual physics processor.
NASDAQ: SMSI) Productivity and Graphics Group today announced multi-touch gesture support for Anime Studio 8 customers on Wacom's marquee Intuos line of graphics tablets.
Stantum is a true innovator of advanced multi-touch technology, and FineTouch Z is the latest example.
The new Multi-Touch technology uses a series of single touch, dual touch, "flick," and application gestures.
Complementing the multi-touch capabilities the Digital Pencil offers a more effective natural and accurate form of input interaction, enabling users to write and annotate directly on screen much as they would on a textbook or pad of paper, advancing basic consumption to a much greater potential for creative and simultaneous input and resulting in higher levels of performance and productivity.
About Tactual Labs Tactual Labs is an innovator in multi-touch sensing technology.
Popular single-touch and multi-touch applications include casino gaming, foodservice, hospitality, industrial, interactive digital signage, healthcare, retail point of sale and self-service.
Windows 7 will enhance Getac's newly-introduced Resistive Multi-Touch technology with an entire library of identified gestures for keyboard-free PC operation, even with industrial gloves.

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